Ironman Triathlon Training At Home

Doing most of your Ironman Triathlon training at home is not as implausible as it may sound.

There are many people in the world who do not have access to great roads and pathways to run and bike on.

Yet at the same time these people are just as captivated by doing the Ironman as someone who has easy access to training facilities like Olympic Pools, riverside pathways, and miles and miles of open highway to churn out those five-hour bike rides.


It was in the very beginning of my Ironman Triathlon career where I met the first of many people I would run into over the course of the years who had a unique way of improvising Ironman Triathlon training.

It was at Ironman Hawaii 1984 in Kona when I met this American triathlete who had spent the year prior to the race sailing around the world on his yacht with his girlfriend.

Like so many other people in that era he was bitten by the Ironman bug and even though his home was a boat he didn’t let it stop him from training for what was then the toughest endurance race in the world.

He had a stationary bike and treadmill brought on board and so his training began. Every time they stopped at some exotic port he would work on his swimming skills.

In the 1980’s the stationary bike was big, one-dimensional, and boring.

Then indoor cycling bike would come later and it did a better job of providing the feel of a real outdoor bike with it’s seat and pedal design.

ironstruck- ironman training at home- early model of stationary bike

A very early model of stationary bike.

It may have been a boring way to train but he didn’t let that stop him.

He would occasionally bike and run on shore if he had the opportunity. At least this way he could work on his balance and cornering on the bike as it’s something that you don’t get from a stationary bike.

In a way, it was an amazing way to train for an Ironman and most important of all, it worked just fine.

His Ironman time was around 12:30 which was a great time in a day in age when the bike technology was nowhere near what it is today.


Several years ago I had an email from a novice triathlete from the UK who wanted nothing more than to take on the Ironman Triathlon challenge and reach the finish line any way he could.

The problem was he explained was that the industrial city he lived in was not really the best for biking and running.

He wanted to know if I had any suggestions.

So I told to get himself a wind-trainer for his bike and treadmill for his running and do his Ironman Triathlon training at home.

He could already swim and made the 45-minute return trip to a pool twice a week to ensure that he could work up to the 2.4-mile Ironman swim distance.

Like many people he assumed that this couldn’t be done, but it most certainly can.

Especially now when wind-trainers are so much of an improvement over your basic stationary bike. It gives you the advantage of training on the bike you will use on race day.

When you think about it pretty much everyone knows how to bike and it’s mostly a matter of getting used to sitting in the saddle for hour after hour and then gutting out the 112-mile Ironman bike course.

ironstruck- using a wind-trainer for Ironman training

Wind-trainers are vastly improved now and you have the advantage to use your race day bike if you prefer.

As far as running……..the chances of any novice triathlete running the entire Ironman 26.2-mile marathon from start to finish is a long shot anyway and for most people it will be run-walk, run-walk, run walk.

Your goal is to get as physically fit as possible to make it through Ironman day.

It doesn’t matter if you train inside or outside, your first Ironman is going to be a challenge and is going to test you mentally, physically, and emotionally.

The Iron Gods don’t care where you trained. They just want to see what you’re made of.

You most likely won’t set any course records or finish at the top of your age-group if your training ground is for the most part your living room or basement, but if you just want to finish the Ironman like the American sailor and the triathlete from the UK than why not train any way you can?

Why should you give up on your dream of crossing the Ironman finish line because you live in an unfriendly place to train, have to stay home to look after kids, or are short on training time?

There is always a way to get it done and doing your Ironman Triathlon training at home is not only possible, some people actually prefer it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *